The EXCEL Program: strengthening diversity.
The Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (BUSDM) initiated a program in the summer of 1993 to strengthen diversity in the entering class of first-year students. The Experiential Center for Excellence in Learning (EXCEL) Program is a voluntary, one-month-long prematriculation experience that combines didactic, laboratory, study skills, and social activities to prepare participants to transition into the rigorous first-year curriculum. From 1996 to 2000, ninety students participated in EXCEL. The two primary reasons cited for participating were to become familiar with the school, faculty, and classmates and to strengthen basic science background. Participants' ages ranged from twenty to over forty. Fifty-nine percent of participants had been out of college for more than one year; 10 percent had been out of school for three years or more. Thirty percent listed nontraditional predental school majors. Fifty-six percent listed a country other than the United States as country of birth. Of those completing an exit survey, 96 percent reported that EXCEL strengthened their decision to study dentistry, and 97 percent would recommend that future entering BUSDM students participate in EXCEL. The EXCEL Program may serve as a model for increasing diversity in U.S. dental school enrollment. (+info)
Applicant analysis: 2000 entering class.
There were 7,770 applicants to the entering dental school class of 2000. This is almost 14 percent less than the number of applicants to the entering class of 1999. Since the peak of dental school applicants in 1997 (at 9,829), the number has declined 21 percent. (This is most similar to the decline that has occurred in medical school applicants since their peak of applicants in 1996, at 46,968.) Almost 55 percent of the applicants to dental school were enrolled in 2000. Dental schools reported 4,234 first-time, first-year enrollees in 2000. This is an increase of 25 enrollees over the number reported in 1999. Since 1989, when dental school enrollment once again began to increase, total first-year dental school enrollment has increased 8.7 percent. The number of applicants per first-time, first-year position was 1.84 in 2000. It was 2.14 in 1999. (The most recent low was 1.34 in 1989.) The GPA and DAT scores of the first-time, first-year enrollees in 2000 were all either equal to or slightly higher than they were in 1999. Women were approximately 40 percent of the applicants and first-time, first-year enrollees in 2000, up slightly from 1999. Underrepresented minorities comprised slightly over 12 percent of the applicants and 10.6 percent of the first-time, first-year enrollees, also up slightly from 1999. (+info)
Undergraduate basic science preparation for dental school.
In the Institute of Medicines report Dental Education at the Crossroads, it was suggested that dental schools across the country move toward integrated basic science education for dental and medical students in their curricula. To do so, dental school admission requirements and recommendations must be closely reviewed to ensure that students are adequately prepared for this coursework. The purpose of our study was twofold: 1) to identify student dentists' perceptions of their predental preparation as it relates to course content, and 2) to track student dentists' undergraduate basic science course preparation and relate that to DAT performance, basic science course performance in dental school, and Part I and Part II National Board performance. In the first part of the research, a total of ninety student dentists (forty-five from each class) from the entering classes of 1996 and 1997 were asked to respond to a survey. The survey instrument was distributed to each class of students after each completed the largest basic science class given in their second-year curriculum. The survey investigated the area of undergraduate major, a checklist of courses completed in their undergraduate preparation, the relevance of the undergraduate classes to the block basic science courses, and the strength of requiring or recommending the listed undergraduate courses as a part of admission to dental school. Results of the survey, using frequency analysis, indicate that students felt that the following classes should be required, not recommended, for admission to dental school: Microbiology 70 percent, Biochemistry 54.4 percent, Immunology 57.78 percent, Anatomy 50 percent, Physiology 58.89 percent, and Cell Biology 50 percent. The second part of the research involved anonymously tracking undergraduate basic science preparation of the same students with DAT scores, the grade received in a representative large basic science course, and Part I and Part II National Board performance. Using T-test analysis correlations, results indicate that having completed multiple undergraduate basic science courses (as reported by AADSAS BCP hours) did not significantly (p < .05) enhance student performance in any of these parameters. Based on these results, we conclude that student dentists with undergraduate preparation in science and nonscience majors can successfully negotiate the dental school curriculum, even though the students themselves would increase admission requirements to include more basic science courses than commonly required. Basically, the students' recommendations for required undergraduate basic science courses would replicate the standard basic science coursework found in most dental schools: anatomy, histology, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, and immunology plus the universal foundation course of biology. (+info)
Creating an environment for diversity in dental schools: one school's approach.
Recent reports have indicated the need to improve the diversity in the dental profession's workforce. The enrollment of underrepresented minority students in the nation's dental schools must increase to accomplish this goal. A complex change process within the dental schools is required to prepare schools to enroll a more diverse student body. While each dental school in the United States is unique, a product of its history and institutional culture, and will, therefore, create an environment for diversity in different ways, it is appropriate to describe lessons learned in individual schools as they strive for diversity. The purpose of this paper is to describe how one dental school, the Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery, approached diversity, so that appropriate strategies can be shared among schools. (+info)
Applicants to U.S. dental schools: an analysis of the 2002 entering class.
In 2002, there were 7,537 applicants to all entering dental school classes in the United States. This represents a 1.7 percent increase over the number of applicants in 2001. Between the peak of applicants in 1997 (at 9,829) and 2001, the number declined 25.0 percent. (This is similar to the percent decline that occurred in medical school applicants since their peak in 1996, at 46,968.) Dental schools reported 4,372 first-time, first-year enrollees in 2002. This is an increase of 105 first-time, first-year enrollees over the number reported in 2001. With the 1.7 percent increase in applicants and the 2.5 percent increase in first-time, first-year enrollees over last year, 58 percent of the dental school applicants were enrolled in 2002. This is up very slightly from 57.6 percent in 2001. Since 1989 when dental school enrollment once again began to increase, the number of first-time, first-year enrollees has increased 17.7 percent. (Total first-year enrollment, which includes first-time enrollees and repeat students, has increased 11.8 percent since 1989.) The number of applicants per first-time, first-year position was 1.72 in 2002. It was 2.31 in 1997. (The most recent low was 1.34 in 1989.) The average GPA and DAT scores of first-time, first-year enrollees in 2002 were essentially unchanged from what they were in 2001. Women were 43.7 percent of the applicants and 42.7 percent of first-time, first-year enrollees in 2002, slight increases from what they were in 2001. Underrepresented minorities comprised 12.8 percent of the applicants and 11.4 percent of the first-time, first-year enrollees in 2002. These percentages are little changed from those reported in 2001. (+info)
Predental enrichment activities of U.S. colleges and universities.
The purpose of this study was to examine predental enrichment activities and their impact on the number of applicants from some of the nation's top dental school feeder institutions (DSFI). The DSFI were identified by their total number of applicants to dental schools and the number of applicants per total student enrollment. A survey consisting of twenty-seven questions on possible predental enrichment activities was administered by phone or sent by email to eighty-eight DSFI, with forty-nine responding. In addition to identifying and characterizing the most common predental enrichment activities, the relationships among the number of applicants, predental activities, and total student enrollments per institution were evaluated. The total number of dental school applicants/institution was correlated with the total student enrollment/institution (r=0.529) and the number of predental activities/institution (r=0.520). No correlation was observed between the number of activities at an institution and dental school applicants per thousand enrolled. Sixteen of the DSFI reported ten or more enrichment activities, the most common being preprofessional health advising (96 percent), dentistry club (88 percent), and volunteer programs (73 percent). In general, larger institutions produced more applicants and provided more enrichment activities. However, there was no correlation between the number of dental school applicants per thousand students enrolled and the number of activities at an institution. Results indicate that there are specific predental enrichment activities common to some of the top dental school feeder institutions in the United States. A better understanding of successful feeder programs may assist nonfeeder schools in developing or strengthening an interest in dentistry as a career option. (+info)
U.S. dental school applicants and enrollees: 2003 and 2004.
Following a 25 percent decline in dental school applicants between 1997 and 2001, from 9,829 to 7,412, the number of applicants over the last three years has increased to 9,433. Based on the rate of applicants to the class entering in the fall of 2005, it is estimated there will be a further 10 to 15 percent increase in the number of applicants, thereby exceeding the 1997 number of applicants. The number of first-time, first-year enrollees rose from 4,039 to 4,457 (10.4 percent) between 1996 and 2004, during which time three new dental schools were established (Nova Southeastern University; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health). Almost 54 percent of the 418 additional first-year positions can be attributed to the three new schools. Slightly over 47 percent of the dental school applicants were enrolled in 2004; 55.4 percent of the applicants in 2003 were enrolled. The number of applicants per first-time, first-year position was 2.12 in 2004 and 1.81 in 2003. It was 2.31 in 1997, the last peak of dental school applicants. (The most recent low was 1.34 in 1989.) The average GPA of the first-time, first-year enrollees continued to increase slightly, standing at 3.35 for science GPA and 3.44 for total GPA. Over the last several years there has been essentially no change in the average academic average and total science DAT scores of the first-time, first-year enrollees, standing at 18.7 and 18.5 respectively. However, the average perceptual ability score has declined slightly, from 18.1 to 17.3. Women were 43.9 percent of the applicants and 42.4 percent of the first-time, first-year enrollees in 2004. Five years ago, women were 38.6 percent of the applicants and 36.5 percent of the first-time, first-year enrollees. Underrepresented minorities comprised 12.4 percent of the applicants and 11.6 percent of the first-time, first-year enrollees in 2004. These percentages are little changed from those reported since 2001. (+info)
Canadian dental students' perceptions of stress.
In this paper, we report the results of a survey on dental student stress carried out in April 2005. A questionnaire was used to collect data from 171 students (62% response rate). Identified stressors were academic, clinic-related, social and financial. "Examination and grades" produced the most academic stress, and inconsistent feedback from instructors created the most clinic-related stress. Students found that having a dual role--wife or husband and dental student--was the most burdensome social stressor. Approximately 60% of students reported marital problems and stress associated with "relations with members of the opposite sex." Survey results showed that students who expected a high graduating debt had higher total and academic stress scores. Total stress was not related to age, gender or marital status. Students living with parents during term time had significantly higher total stress scores than students living in other arrangements. Students residing with parents also had significantly higher debts on entry to dental school. Students with more predental education had (non-significantly) lower stress scores but also had higher student debts. Undergraduate subject major (biological science or non-science) had no bearing on reported stress. This study highlights the negative effects of student debt, the necessity for staff training and the need for further studies exploring relations among stress, psychological well-being and academic performance. (+info)